Colin Lane recollects his introduction to The Strokes for us:
“In January of 2001 I got my first assignment from The Face to shoot a band called The Strokes. I had never heard of them – but I didn’t care. I was just happy to be shooting for The Face.
Little did I know that every label in the world was after them. They sent me the three song EP “Modern Age” that was floating around London (the one that Geoff Travis at Rough Trade supposedly heard 30 seconds of before he decided to sign them) and I knew right away that they were going to be big. I was really broke at the time but I went out and bought a bunch of beers and invited the band over to my apartment.
They came over on January 16, 2001 and we did some shots at my apartment (the headshots that are in the CD foldout of Is This It) and in my courtyard. We clicked. Then I asked them if they were up for a little adventure (they were) and we headed uptown in their rented van to sneak up on the roof of the Essex House Hotel on Central Park South. I’d been sneaking up there for years. It was a place I always took my out-of-town friends. I think it is 42 floors tall and from the top you get incredible views of Central Park to the north and midtown Manhattan to the south.
We parked illegally…they didn’t seem to care about getting tickets. They knew they were going to get a nice record deal and they knew they could just get whatever label they ended up on to pay the fines. We took the elevator to the top floor, found the stairwell and walked up to the roof. Then, for the first time ever, I got busted. An employee was on a cigarette break up there and gave us the boot. I was devastated and could only think that they must have thought I was a total asshole for bringing them all the way up there for nothing.
However, I knew of another, taller, skyscraper we could sneak up on across from Grand Central so I asked if they wanted to try that one. To my shock they said OK so we headed 17 blocks downtown – and this time we had success. The Lincoln Building was 53 stories tall and it was perfect….by the time we made it up there the sun was setting, the Empire State Building was lit up and it was beautiful. We got some great shots, one of which made it into The Face. It was their first “real” photo shoot. Fab said I was the first guy to shoot more than a roll of film on them! A month or two later they signed with RCA and when Tracy Boychuk, the art director for the album, asked if they knew anyone who could do the press shots they picked me…..probably because they didn’t know anyone else but also because I think they enjoyed our little “slightly illegal” adventure.”